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  1. #1
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    consumer reports

    what is your opionion of consumer reports? On a few other sites I have seen some debating on their accuracy....What is your opinion?

    Anna

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  3. #2
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    This is actually addressed in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this website.

    All carseats currently sold must pass minimum government requirements. Consumer Reports has its own methodology, and does not discuss how they derive their crash test ratings or how their ratings relate to the risk of injury. They also conceal their results in colored circles, which don't tell you exactly how much safer a top-rated model is compared to a lower-rated one. Also, a carseat that worked for the dummies on the car benches at Consumer Reports may not fit well in your vehicle or with your child. If your carseat fits your child, fits your vehicle and you use it correctly every time, then it should be safe.

    http://www.car-safety.org/faq.html#Q30
    What seat(s) are you particularly concerned about/interested in?
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  4. #3
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    What seat(s) are you particularly concerned about/interested in?
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    -Jenny

    I was wondering about the Britax Marathon.

  5. #4
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    And you were concerned about what CR had to say about the Marathon?

    In short, it isn't an issue. Their "problem" was overrotation when the Marathon was installed rear-facing with LATCH, tested with the heaviest rear-facing dummy. Overrotation means the carseat shell rotated too far downwards, towards the front vehicle seats.

    This problem was not noted by Britax or NHTSA, so take heart in that.

    Also, an easy "fix" would be to discontinue the use of the lower LATCH anchors if you are using the Marathon with a child towards the higher end of the rear-facing weight limit (33 pounds) and install the seat with the vehicle seatbelt.

    Another "fix" would be to brace the top of the Marathon's seat shell against the front vehicle seat, this would keep it from overrotating. Britax allows this, some other manufacturers do not.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  6. #5
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus UlrikeDG's Avatar
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    In addition to Jenny's suggestions, use of the rear facing tether should help to reduce the downward rotation as well. My 30ish pound three year old rides in a rear facing Marathon, installed with LATCh (because I couldn't get a great install with the seatbelt) and tethered toward the front of the vehicle.
    Ulrike, mom to:
    Roman (3/98), Evalina (3/00), Nadia (3/03), and Kira (11/07)


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  7. #6
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    Thank you for your reassurance. I thought Britax seats were top of the line but on another board some people were saying they are not all they are cracked up to be due to the CS reports. She is swearing up and down they are the most accurate and dependable reviews.....I attached the link you provided maybe that will help change her mind.

    Can I get the "results" of the safety testing from Britax or NHTSA? Or is it they pass or don't?

  8. #7
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Some people are, like, Consumer Reports junkies, and treat what they publish as gospel, LOL!

    Carseat companies don't publish their results, and NHTSA only publishes ease-of-use ratings, not safety ratings (except for head excursion numbers, as far as I know, and those are hard to interpret for even the most die-hard CPS fanatics), as far as I know. Basically, we just have to trust that all seats sold are "safe enough" provided they install well and fit the child who is using it. Still, knowing what child passenger safety experts think and keeping up-to-date on current CPS research goes a long way; we know that overhead shield seats are less safe than five point harness seats, but overhead shield seats still pass our minimum federal safety standards. We know that a five point harness provides more protection than a booster+vehicle seatbelts because it prevents wiggly kids from moving out of position and because it holds the child in place better, especially during side impact and rollover crashes.

    The crux of carseat selection really comes down to research, research, research, and choosing what works best for your child, your vehicle and your budget. It helps to know harnessed weight limits, top harness slot height, and what comfort features and ease-of-use features the seat offers. Britax tends to excel because they offer more comfort and ease-of-use features than other brands, and the Marathon/Decathlon/Boulevard/Regent harness to 65/80 pounds. Most other brands only harness to 40 pounds.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  9. #8
    CPST Instructor Dsunny1's Avatar
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    Jenny, just wanted to add that you are awesome and really are helpful to people who come here. Other people are also, I just notice how you write info and are able to explain it in a way that is easily understandable by people who come here needing to get explainations. I know a lot of info, but am not as good at putting it into words, nor do I know yet how to find it easily on the web to link it to people. I am learning a lot from you and the other people on the board who are always available to help... I know I will be a better tech for it.
    Jen
    CPS instructor, Military Wife to Zach and Mother of 4, ages 13 to 1yo.

  10. #9
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    Jenny, just wanted to add that you are awesome and really are helpful to people who come here. Other people are also, I just notice how you write info and are able to explain it in a way that is easily understandable by people who come here needing to get explainations. I know a lot of info, but am not as good at putting it into words, nor do I know yet how to find it easily on the web to link it to people. I am learning a lot from you and the other people on the board who are always available to help...

    Just wanted to ditto this....
    Anna

  11. #10
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    when parents ask me about CR, my standard response is that they're great for washing machines, but not so great for child restraints, and I use their "top pick" as a great example why. They highly rate the Evenflo Titan, yet most techs I know HATE the seat with a passion (including me!). It's short, a pain to install (literally - you should see my hands after fooling with one this weekend!) and is outgrown quickly by height and weight.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  12. #11
    Senior Community Member scatterbunny's Avatar
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    Aww, thanks ladies. That really made my day.

    I have to give credit to others, though--Julie, Heather, Deborah, Darren, Ulrike--all the "oldies" around here who really taught me everything I know. And so many others, too. I hate to leave anyone out, LOL.
    ~Jenny

    "When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people." ~Abraham Joshua Hesche

  13. #12
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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  14. #13
    nicoleh
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    Re: consumer reports

    I have a quick question - we have a Graco SnugRide (which passed the consumer report test, if that even means anything), but it is from 2005. The 2007 version of the Graco SnugRide has EPS and goes up to 29" and 22lbs (vs. 26" and 20lbs which is what mine does). Anyway - I know that my SnugRide is still "safe" but is it the best choice? Would it make more sense to get the newer version? How much of a difference does EPS make?

    Nicole,
    Mother of 2 - Benjamin 19 months RF in Evenflo Triumph and Ella 2 months RF in Graco SnugRide

  15. #14
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: consumer reports

    EPS is great - it's energy absorbing foam. That said, Consumer Reports is full of it and if you were going to replace a perfectly good snug ride, I'd suggest the Safe Seat 1 instead because it's easier to use and install.

    That said, if your 2005 SR has a front harness adjuster and a 5 point harness, I can't say I would replace a perfectly good seat, although I do like the SS1 better.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  16. #15
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    Re: consumer reports

    the snugride is a design that has been around for awhile and has worked pretty well. we had a 2002 snugride that was originally for my nephew, and then each of our daughters used it as infants. we though the SR was very well designed, convenient, and comfy. plus it fits most of the graco strollers!
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  17. #16
    CPS Technician Ali's Avatar
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    Re: consumer reports

    We have a SR from 2005. DD used it for 6 mos and a very trusted friend used it for 7 mos with her DD. We aren't having anymore DC, but if we did, I would have absolutely NO problem using it again.

  18. #17
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    Re: consumer reports

    Considering CR won't release their findings and full reports to the DOT or NHTSA, I don't have much faith at all. I'm keeping my Safeseat and I love it. I had a dad come in yesterday w/ a brand new Latch Loc he bought b/c of CR and it was HARD to install. The dad ended up not being impressed at all and I think was a little upset he bought this one. We all agreed it was pretty though. lol
    Jennifer, Special Needs CPST, peds nurse, and CSFTL Admin mom to:
    AJ-13 (five steps), Evan-11 (nbb),
    Ilana-9 (nbb) ,
    Olivia-7 (hbb), and
    Unity-3 (rf and ff)

  19. #18
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    Re: consumer reports

    i have a really hard time trusting anything that CR rates. sometimes i agree with them, other times they seem really off target.

    and the fact that they don't release their testing methods makes me very skeptical about believing what they say.
    Two girls, 7 and 6. Trek Mountain, Specialized Hotrock, Soma Buena Vista, Bike Friday tandem, and multiple other bikes. Oh, and a Mazda5.

  20. #19
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: consumer reports

    Thanks for all of your opinions and honesty about CR. My family and co-workers thank you too. I have been driving them crazy since that report came out trying to find a different car seat for my baby. The thought of those dummies being my baby in the video made me sick. One good thing about CR- I know that I wouldn't have done this much research on car seats before buying a convertable. We'll be ordering either a Marathon or Boulevard later today (still deciding). Also, I want to take one last look at the Safe Voyage. I had my 7 year old sit in it for me and give me her opinion, and she said it didn't have enough padding, but we'll check it out one more time.

    Anywho, you guys have really put my mind at ease. Thanks so much for all of your input!

    Angie

  21. #20
    Magnum
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    Re: consumer reports

    I give them a lot of credit over the years for finding bad things. A lot of their negative comments about our vehicles are on the money. Where I disagree with them mostly is how far apart they rate things that are really pretty close in my view.

    I dont know what to make of these bad test results. I have subscribed for decades and they do know a lot about cars (even when I dont agree with them!) and appliances but I wonder if other product areas are a little beyond their resources to test and rate with any expertise. The breaking infant seats still worry me. Maybe they lied or fixed the testing or maybe there really is some kind of problem with most or all of this kind of car seat?

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